Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cheesy Chicken-Potato Soup with Sour Cream and Cayenne

Cheesy Chicken-Potato Soup with Sour Cream and Cayenne

3 tbsp butter
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts
32 ounce bag of new potatoes, halved or quartered
1 quart chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped
10 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (reserve some for topping)
Sour cream
Cayenne pepper

In pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Cook leeks two minutes, add potatoes and cook 5 minutes.  Add broth, bring to boil.  Simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove one third of the potatoes, reserve.  Puree remaining soup with one cup water (I use an immersion blender, or you can remove it to a regular blender and then put it back in the pot).  Stir in chicken, reserved potatoes, cheese and 3 tablespoons sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne.  Ladle into bowls, top with another dollop of sour cream, some leftover cheddar and a sprinkle of cayenne.  It's not hot at all.  Very delicious!

Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used one flavored with garlic)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I didn't have fresh so I used 1 tablespoon of dried)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices and spread onto a baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil.  Roast until carmelized 15 - 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaning olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter.  Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15- 20 minutes.  Add basil and cream.  Puree with immersion blender or in a regular blender until smooth. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Gravy

I saw this recipe on Guy's Big Bite with Guy Fieri.   I made it for Thanksgiving this year.  Now I will never go back to green bean casserole with canned cream of mushroom soup.  It is really good.  I used three different kinds of mushrooms.  You can use whatever mushrooms you like. 

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Gravy

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound mixed gourmet mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup  low sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan
4 medium shallots, sliced and separated into thin rounds
1 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the green beans and cook until they just turn bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Set a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add butter and vegetable oil.  Once the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the mushrooms.  Cook undisturbed so the mushrooms sear nicely, about a minute.  Add the thyme and garlic and continue cooking the mushrooms to achieve some nice color.  Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg.  Cook 2 to 3 more minutes longer, dusting the mushrooms with some of the flour as they lost release their moisture.  Stir to incorporate the flour and gradually add in the chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and add the sour cream and cream.  Stir gently and cook over low heat until gravy thickens, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the blanched green beans to the pan and fold together so everything is mixed well.  Spread out evenly in the pan.  Sprinkle the grean beans with the grated parmesan and bake until the casserole is bubbly and the top is melted and golden, 15 minutes.

Pour the vegetable oil into a deep skillet and heat to 350 degrees.  Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.  Toss the shallot rounds in the seasoned flour, then place in a strainer and shake off any excess flour.  Fry teh shallots in the hot oil in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels and season with salt while still hot.  Top the green bean casserole with the fried shallots and serve. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Dump Cake

I have to admit it... I don't like pie.  Never been a fan.  The only kind I like is my mom's crustless buttermilk pie that I get once a year at Christmas.  And I have to share with my cousin Terry... But he's not so bad, so I don't mind!  I love the flavor of pumpkin though... as long as it is not in pie form.  So we started making this dump cake a few years ago and now I make it in lieu of pie at Thanksgiving.  It's super easy.  Hope you enjoy it.

2 cans pumpkin
2 12 ounce cans of evaporated milk (3 cups)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, cinnamon, ginger, eggs, sugar, salt and cloves together well.  Pour into a greased or sprayed 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cake mix.  Drizzle with melted butter, then sprinkle with pecans.  (My daughter doesn't like nuts, so I only do half of the pan with nuts.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I am on a huge soup kick lately.  This has to be one of my absolute favorites.  This recipe should serve four as it is stated, but I promise you I could eat it all by myself!  It's that good. 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 pounds of regular white mushrooms (I actually used a combination of white and baby bells)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 Tbsp Minced Shallots
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme or 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme (Use fresh if at all possible!)
Bay Leaf
2 Teaspoons of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Fresh Ground Pepper
4 Cups Heavy Cream
3 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsps of water

In a food processor, coarsley chop the mushrooms and lemon juice.

Melt butter in a large sauce pan and lightly saute shallots on medium heat.  Add mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf, saute over moderate heat for about 15 minutes or until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms disappears.

Add salt, pepper, cream and chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Add cornstarch mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Correct season and add more lemon juice to taste.  (I am not big on lemon flavor so I didn't add more).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cream of Jalapeno Soup

Everyone from Kerrville remembers a fantastic little restaurant we had here called the Old Republic Inn.  They had the best food and everyone misses Carole Curry and her great recipes.   A friend of mine was recently wondering about their recipe for Cream of Jalapeno Soup which as luck would have it, my mom actually had.  I am a HUGE soup fanatic and this one is heavenly.  It's not as spicy as you would think.  Just depends on the heat in your jalapenos that day and you can add more or less to suit your heat preference.  Enjoy!

Cream of Jalapeno Soup

3 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
3 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Large Green Bell Pepper (finely chopped) (I use red, not green)
2 Jalapenos (seeded and finely chopped) (Depending on heat of peppers, you might want to add more)
1 Cup grated Swiss Cheese
1 Cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1 Large Onion (minced)
1 Large Carrot (minced)
Salt

Melt 3 Tbsps butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir 3 minutes. Mix in stock and cream. Increase heat and bring to boil, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile melt other 2 Tbsps butter in heavy skillet over low heat. Add onion, carrot and bell pepper. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix in jalapenos.(I generally do this step first and cook while base is working.  I like to get my vegetables to almost a caramelized state.  It gives them a lot of color and flavor.)

Add both cheeses to cream mixture and stir until melted. Mix in vegetables. Season with salt and serve.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cheddar Cheese Soup with Zucchini, Broccoli and Carrots

It's been forever since I've blogged.... Life just gets too crazy sometimes.  Like now!

Lately I've been on a huge soup kick.  Seems to be all I think about... well that and risotto!  So I haven't actaully made this soup yet but it's on the grocery list for this week.  I'm sure it's going to turn out great!!

Cheddar Cheese Soup with Zucchini, Broccoli, and Carrots


2 Tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium zucchini, grated

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1/2 onion, grated

1 head broccoli, chopped into mini florets

3 cups chicken broth

2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

2 cups grated cheddar cheese



In large saucepot, melt butter. Add garlic, zucchini, carrots, and onion. Saute until veggies are tender. Stir in broccoli and broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender. Meanwhile, melt butter in large pot. Whisk in flour and cook for a minute or two. Whisk in milk until smooth. Simmer until thickened. Whisk in cheddar cheese. Incorporate vegetable mixture into cheese sauce, whisking until smooth. Serve immediately.